Bartley Forrester is proud of earning straight-A’s, playing a sport and getting a college scholarship at Georgia Tech.
After playing golf for the North Hall High School team throughout high school, Bartley received a scholarship from the university, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering.
“I quit baseball right before eighth grade,” Bartley said. “So I’ve been playing golf competitively since then. But I played before that just for fun, pretty much my whole life.”
The talent comes from his family, which he says is a “golfing family.” He would play around on the course as he was growing up, and the more he did that, the more he fell in love with the sport. He said it just made sense to continue playing.
During summers, like many other golfers, he went to tournaments all over the Southeast. Last summer, he said he was only home for four days during the months of June and July.
Some of his best memories have been playing historic courses like Pinehurst and Pine Valley, he said.
“I’ve played a bunch of courses, and met a lot of people and I’ve had a lot of fun doing that,” Bartley said.
His first big win was also memorable. In 2016, when Bartley was just a sophomore in high school, he beat Gainesville High’s Spencer Ralston, who is now playing golf at the University of Georgia, to win the Hall County Championship.
From that point on, he knew he had the ability to earn a college scholarship and always had his eye on Georgia Tech since his uncle, Carlton Bartley, played there. So he worked as hard as he could during school, making all A’s, taking Advanced Placement classes and even dual enrolling at the University of North Georgia, all the while impressing college scouts on the course.
“(Georgia Tech) would be a hard school to go to if you weren't playing sports,” Bartley said. “So to be playing golf and giving a lot of time to that, and also giving a lot of time to my school work — it’s going to be a big challenge to balance it all out. But I know I can do it. I can work hard enough.”
And as a mechanical engineering major, he’ll have to do just that. Bartley’s cousin graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Georgia Tech and encouraged him to do the same since he enjoyed science and math. Bartley is in the STEM program at North Hall and physics is one of his favorite classes.
After playing in more tournaments this summer, Bartley will head to Atlanta to begin his collegiate career.
“I’m more excited than nervous,” Bartley said. “Just because this is what I’ve been working toward the last four or five years and it’s finally here. I’m just excited to get started.”